Sunday, May 6, 2018

Alfie: The Turtle That Disappeared by Thyra Heder

Did Nia Choose The Worst Pet Ever?

- Alfie And Nia Have Something Special In Common, But Will That Be Enough?-

On Nia’s sixth birthday she gets a pet turtle that she names Alfie. The clerk at the store tells Nia that her new pet turtle is probably six years old. The same age as Nia! Even through Nia tries very hard to entertain and play with Alfie, she draws a picture of him, dances, makes presents for him, and tells him jokes, they grow apart. Unfortunately, the turtle seems uninterested in everything. Little by little Nia begins to forget about her new pet. But the night before her seventh birthday, something awful happens. Alfie disappears.

There are two white pages about a quarter of the way into the book. On the left, is a small grayscale image of Nia and on the right a small grayscale image of Alfie. This is a sign that the preceding pages were told by Nia and the next few pages are to be told by Alfie.

Alfie sees something special in Nia immediately. And when she shares with him that they are both six he is happier than ever. The home she provides him is perfect. She introduces him to her animal friends (stuffed animals), she dances, gives him special gifts (of which he has never received), and she even makes him laugh. (Of course, it is a “feeling inside” laugh. The illustration shows that his mouth remains in a neutral position.)

So if Alfie is so happy, why does he disappear?

My Thoughts:

What Concerned Me: Nothing

What I Liked Most: The illustrations are exceptionally well done with ink and watercolor. The story is sweet and can be a springboard for talks about different perspectives as well as attempting to understanding what others might be feeling. Though the story is simple, the coupling of engaging illustrations makes this a book I would definitely recommend.

Author/Illustrator: Thyra Heder
4 STARS - I Really Liked It!
Publisher:   Abrams Books, October 2017

  • Approx. Word Count: 538
  • Ages: 4 - 8
  • Pages: 32

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